Odisha has been put on yellow alert by the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) on Tuesday (April 30) after Cyclone Fani has gained immense strength and is moving towards the state's coast.
Educational institutions in the states have declared holidays for the students due to the ongoing cyclonic storm that has turned to be violent in nature and will approach with extremity. The cyclone is expected to cross the Odisha coast on Friday.
The Election Commission (EC) has also lifted its model code of conduct (MCC) at 11 coastal districts of Odisha in prolepsis of the landfall of the extreme cyclone and to aid rescue operations. This decision comes after the caretaker chief minister Naveen Patnaik requested the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to revoke MCC in the wake of the ongoing polls in the state. He has also requested to postpone the elections in the Patkura assembly in Kendrapura, scheduled for May 19 due to the high alert.
The weather department has predicted severe damage at Ganjam, Gajapati, Khurda, Puri, Jagatsinghpur districts of Odisha. Heavy rainfall and strong impacts due to the Cyclone Fani are expected at Sambalpur, Boudh, Deogarh and Kalahandi along with other neighbouring areas. Coastal regions of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal are also on high alert.
The IMD said that the wind speed is likely to reach 175-185 kmph and can further gust up to 205 kmph. They have requested the civilians to evacuate areas prone to such calamities in order to prevent any mishaps. The fishermen have also been asked to stay out of the sea, especially near south-east and south-west of Bay of Bengal.
According to the reports, The National Crisis Management Committee (NCMC) met on Tuesday under the chairmanship of Cabinet Secretary PK Sinha and reviewed how the states are preparing to deal with the situation. The National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) is deploying 41 teams in areas considered to be most vulnerable due to the calamity, Andhra Pradesh (8), Odisha (28) and West Bengal (5). The NDRF has also kept on standby 13 teams in West Bengal and 10 in Andhra Pradesh.
Following a decision of the NCMC, the Ministry of Home Affairs has ordered for the advance release of financial assistance to the State Disaster Response Fund (SDRF) of the four states, an official statement said. Of the sanctioned amount, Odisha will receive Rs 340.87 crore, Tamil Nadu Rs 309.37 crore, West Bengal Rs 235.50 crore and Andhra Pradesh Rs 200.25 crore, reports News18.